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Sauna Youth: Distractions *

Track List

>End Loop
>New Fear
>Cosmos Seeker
>Modern Living
>Abstract Notions
>Bridge, The
>Try to Leave
>Future Tense
>(Taking a) Walk

Album Reviews:

NME (Magazine) - "Noisy guitar scrawls like `New Fear' and `Modern Living' charm on a visceral level..."

Clash (magazine) - "It's difficult to choose a definitive, prevailing moment here, as each song has its own respective merits: 'Transmitters' is already a punk classic, and the bassy 'Modern Living' is frighteningly addictive..."

Album Notes

The London quartet Sauna Youth have two very important things going for them: boundless energy and great songs. Their second album, Distractions, is a whiplash-inducing burst of noise built on furiously strummed guitars, shouted vocals (mostly male but with some nice balance from Jen Calleja), and the kind of superhuman drumming that would wipe out mere mortals should they attempt to replicate it at home. Capturing the same feeling as the best noise bands throughout the modern era, like the Fall, Sonic Youth, and the Wedding Present, Sauna Youth make sure to add songs that are easy to sing along with, jump up and down to, and be knocked out by. Most of the album flashes by in an electrical storm, but isolated tracks stand out as extra-inspired gems. "Monotony" is a thrilling punk slap to the head, "Try to Leave" is a super hooky garage rock-y nugget, and the insistently pounding "Creeper" ends things with a queasy display of guitar mastery and rhythmic devastation. While the strong number of hooks is important, the album's strength is in the way it attacks from the start and never lets up, but still holds back just enough to let the sound breathe. The guitars never sound abrasive, just excitingly live and loud, the drums always stay focused with laser intensity, and while the vocals are usually barked out, they have a pleasing everyman/woman quality that is easy to relate to. It's a powerfully bracing sound they whip up, hard, fast, and tough, yet it's poppy enough to want to spin again and again. Any and all of the bands they draw influence from would be happy to add them to the noise club; if they keep making records as good as Distractions, they may end up ruling the club someday. ~ Tim Sendra


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